Last Updated Jul 24, 2020 7:15 PM EDT
Long before, Greg Dailey was already keeping his customers at arm's length. In fact, to those on his paper route in central New Jersey, Dailey has never been anything more than a blur past their driveway.
But as CBS Newsin April, all that changed when one elderly customer asked him a simple favor: Could he please pull in and throw the paper closer to the garage.
"It hit me that if she can't get the paper at the sidewalk, which is 20 feet from the house, in this pandemic — how is she going to get the things she needs?" Dailey said. "So a couple days later I just decided, you know what, I'm going to put this note out."
The note, stuck in the next day's edition, read: "My name is Greg Dailey and I deliver your newspaper every morning" — which was news to most people — "I would like to offer my services — free of charge — to anyone who needs groceries."
From that moment on, the phone has been ringing off the hook.
He takes the orders, does the shopping and delivers the groceries — not by whipping them out the window, but by carefully placing them on the porch.
And people are grateful.
"I don't have enough adjectives," Eileen Stein, 85, said. "He is one of the finest people in the world."
Another woman described Dailey as the closest thing to God.
"There's a level of appreciation here that goes above and beyond anything I've ever seen," Dailey told CBS News. "So, no, I'm not going to stop ... There's something about being able to do something really nice for people."
And sure enough, since this story first aired, Greg has expanded his mission. About 130 seniors are on his grocery route. He's also added about a dozen volunteers — mostly college students — who assist with the shopping.
And he has plans to do still more.
Greg Dailey was called to duty by circumstance — but he's staying in service by choice.